About & Services

headshot1aMike Patin uses energy, humor and stories to affirm God's goodness and presence among us while inviting others (and himself) to take the "next step" in our journey with God.

Mike has worked in ministry settings since 1984, first as a high school teacher and coach, and then in diocesan ministry for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Since 2003, he has worked full time as a speaker and “faith horticulturist.”

Throughout his ministry, Mike has been privileged to speak to groups ranging from 10 to 23,000 in over 130 dioceses in the U.S. and Canada. He has spoken at parish missions, conferences, rallies, retreats, leadership institutes, and in-services, addressing youth, adults, families, clergy, seminarians, school faculties, businesses, athletic teams and hospital staffs.

He has been a featured speaker numerous times at the following national events:

  • National Catholic Educational Association Convention
  • Los Angeles Religious Education Congress/Youth Day
  • National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry
  • National Catholic Youth Conference
  • Notre Dame Vision

Mike has published two books: A Standing Invitation, and This Was Not in the Brochure: Lessons from Work, Life and Ministry.

In 2006, he received the National Catholic Youth Ministry Award.

Mike lives in Lafayette, LA.

Education and other experience of interest:

  • Masters degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University (New Orleans)
  • Training Facilitator, Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 
  • Consultant/Assistant Coach to Loyola University (New Orleans) Women’s Basketball Team (2003-2005)

Speaking (Engagement & Animation)

Mike strives to engage and involve people through humor, energy, stories and a well constructed message. He works to evoke a response and a definite, specific course of action—a next step.

Some possible (past) formats:

  • Parish missions (inter-generational presentations)
  • Keynote addresses or general sessions 
  • Workshops for adults or teens
    (contact Mike for a list of sample workshops)
  • Retreats/days of reflection for adults and teens 
  • Team/community building sessions 
  • Continuing education/in-services 
  • Parent sessions

What is a "Faith Horticulturist?"

I describe myself as a “Faith Horticulturist.” That's an image taken from Jesus' parables about gardening and spreading the Word.

Sometimes, through my speaking, I find that I:

  • break ground: I try to give people a positive experience in a faith environment.
  • plant seeds: I introduce concepts or ideas to people about God/faith/religion/spirituality.
  • water seeds already planted: Many times I reinforce the work of teachers and parents, etc.
  • ”fertilize”: I give illustrations and practical tools which help people allow faith seeds to take root in their lives.

Facilitation (Processes/Skills)

Facilitate means “to make easy.” Mike offers skills, tools and strategies that can help ministers and groups “de-mystify” the sometimes-overwhelming demands of working together.

  • Expectation/job descriptions
  • Meeting effectiveness 
  • Planning Processes (mission/vision setting, project supervision) 
  • Communication skills 
  • Management skills (delegation, diagnosing, making and breaking commitments, working with volunteers, etc.)
  • Accountability and support

Audiences Served

High School/Junior High Students
Athletic Teams/Coaches
College Students
Confirmation Students
Parish Councils
Parish/Diocesan Staff
Parent-Teacher Organizations
Leadership Teams/Core groups

Sample Topics


Christian Athletes
Christian Leadership
High School Campus Ministry
Moral Decision Making
Peer Pressure
Media/Popular Music

Positive Attitude
Relationship with God

Adolescent Culture
Building a Youth Ministry
Clarifying Job Expectations
Commitments That Stick
Communication Skills
Pastoral Planning
Spirituality In the Midst of Serving Others
Stress/Time Management
Volunteer Management

(Email Mike for a list of sample workshop titles)